Forming a romantic connection (or feeling out if there’s potential for one to begin with) on a first date is easier said than done, especially given how terrible many of these initial encounters tend to be. If you want to avoid any first date disasters, relationship psychologists recommend avoiding these six behaviors.
- Don’t dip after 15 minutes. Maybe you’re someone who believes in the old “when you know, you know” adage and so, if you don’t feel that electric chemistry within the first 15 minutes, you’re ready to get your fake “emergency call” so you can leave without wasting any more of your time. Stop right there! Leaving prematurely doesn’t just mean missing out on a potentially great date, it’s also just rude. As dating and relationships psychologists Madeleine Mason Roantree told The Independent, “Unless you have a genuine emergency, this is just mean. I’m always amazed when people think that ghosting is a kind way of saying ‘no thanks’. It’s cowardice and pathetic. Don’t do it.”
- Avoid the temptation to neg your date. If you’re not a jerk (or a dude, since this tends to be a male behavior), this probably isn’t an issue, but sometimes it can happen unintentionally so you need to be aware of what you’re saying and doing. Criticizing your date in order to try and seduce them is a ridiculous behavior that will fail more often than not. As Roantree explained, “This usually backfires for those looking for long-term romance. I have had clients of both genders who employ behaviors that try and get their date to ‘win them over’. It doesn’t work.”
- Keep talk of the future to a minimum. You don’t need to hide the fact that you’re looking for a long-term relationship, but maybe don’t go off on a rant about how you want three kids by 35 and already have your wedding dress fabric picked out. According to dating coach Jo Hemmings, this is a terrible idea for obvious reasons. “Concentrate on the here and now rather than suggesting they might join you for an event further down the line. However much you like them initially, it’s just too much too soon.”
- Don’t treat it like a job interview. Sure, you want to seem engaged and interested in your date, but maybe keep the 20 questions for future dates if they happen. As Hemmings explained, “You might want to know all about them, but some questions (think: ‘How did you choose to spend your free time during the career gap you had in 2017?’ and ‘What attracted you to me in the first instance?’) are just a bit much to ask on a first date. Ask questions by all means, but first dates are about reciprocal disclosure in conversational form.” Makes sense.
- For God’s sake, please come alone. This sounds like common sense to most of us, but please don’t bring a friend to your first date. There’s a major difference between having a wingman/wingwoman when you’re out at the bar and bringing that person on an actual date you’ve set up. Who does that? “It’s awkward and a major turn off for the person you’re meeting. A client of mine recently did this and, needless to say, the date was cut short and no future ones were planned,” Roantree advised.
- Don’t ask for favors. If your date is high up in your career field and you think they can help you climb the latter even if you’re not all that into them, resist the urge to ask for a reference or professional hookup to further your own aim. It’s really not the time or place and you’ll come off as a user and kinda desperate.
[H/T The Independent]